FTI WEF Disrupted By EHV-1 Scare

Feb 27, 2013 - 7:13 AM
Strict biosecurity measures are in place at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival due to a suspicious EHV-1 test result in the area. Photo by Mollie Bailey

A week of intense international competition at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla., has been threatened by a positive EHV-1 test on a horse in the area. Currently, the Federation Equestre Internationale stabling at WEF is closed, and some classes are canceled. This CSIO week plays host to the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup on March 1 and a $150,000 Grand Prix on March 3, both of which are currently still planned to go forward.

Equestrian Sport Productions announces that a horse stabled at Tequestrian Farms in Grand Prix Village (outside of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center) has been tested for EHV-1. The horse tested negative for the nasal PCR swab, but positive to the blood test. That horse has not shown any neurological symptoms and there are no positive tests on horses on the PBIEC property. The positive case at Tequestrian Farms is not believed to be connected with the index case at the HITS Ocala showgrounds. There are no sick horses on PBIEC property.

A positive EHV-1 test on the evening of Feb. 26 has caused a full quarantine of the HITS Ocala showgrounds as of the afternoon of Feb. 27. 

A previous EHV-1 scare at WEF resulted in a negative test result.

In addition, the Florida Department of Agriculture is reporting four other positive EHV-1 cases in Loxahatchee, Fla., at Miles Away Farm. Those four cases are possibly connected to the original case at the HITS Ocala showgrounds.

“None of the six new positive horses have exhibited neurological symptoms at this time. While the additional positive horses [from Miles Away Farm in Loxahatchee and Redfield Farm in Ocala] were detected after leaving the [HITS Ocala] showgrounds, they resided in Tent 3 and Tent 6 in proximity to Tent 7 which housed the index case,” read the Florida Department of Agriculture release.

At WEF, the previous biosecurity protocols that were enacted on Feb. 22 have still been in place and will remain until further notice. ESP is asking all equestrians, especially those stabling off PBIEC property, to enact biosecurity protocols and be proactive and responsible for their horses, including daily temperature charts.

The horse that was tested was never on the PBIEC property and was isolated on the private property in Grand Prix Village. However, two horses from that Grand Prix Village Farm were moved into the Federation Equestre Internationale stabling at PBIEC. Within FEI stabling, those two horses had no other horses directly next to them or behind them, and those two horses couldn’t touch noses with other horses. The closest horses to the two exposed were across a 12′ aisle.

On the evening of Feb. 26, the two horses from the affected farm in Grand Prix Village that were in FEI stabling were moved back to their farm in Grand Prix Village on the recommendation of the State Veterinarian and that farm in Grand Prix Village is under quarantine. 

Since those two horses from Grand Prix Village were in the same barn as the horse that tested positive through blood and were then in FEI stabling, the State of Florida Department of Agriculture has temporarily closed FEI stabling.

Consequently, horses in FEI stabling will be monitored closely. The FEI stabling will be closed with no horses arriving or leaving until tests on the two horses that were in the Grand Prix Village Farm and then FEI stabling come back at approximately 4 p.m. on Feb. 28.

The two $5,000 CSIO Welcome Stake classes scheduled for today, Feb. 27, have been cancelled and the prize money will be added to the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8. For Feb. 28, the schedule will start with the G&C Farm 1.45m, followed by the Hollow Creek Farm Young Rider, Junior, and Children’s Classic classes.

The $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Feb. 28 (pending test results). In consultation with the ground jury and agreement with all seven international Chefs d’Equipe, the class has been changed from 1.50m jump-off to 1.50m speed format. The prize money has increased by $10,000 to $43,000 from the cancelled welcome classes.

The $35,000 G&C Farm Puissance scheduled for Feb. 28 thas been postponed indefinitely.

The WEF Sport Horse Auction at The Stadium at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 will proceed as planned.

Properties currently under quarantine in Florida include…

· HITS Showgrounds, Ocala – Entire facility

· Up Country Farm/Synergy Farm, Ocala

· Montera Farm, Ocala

· Flutterby Farm, Ocala

· Foxwood Farms, Pinellas Park

· Black Forest Farm, St. Augustine

· Littlewood Farm, Wellington

· Brookmore Farm, Oviedo

· Kings Ridge Farm, Reddick

New Quarantined Premises:

•    FEI Tent at Wellington Showgrounds

•    Tequestrian Farm, Wellington

•    Redfield Farm, Ocala

•    Miles Away Farm, Loxahatchee


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